This activity looks at your ability to work out and follow a route safely and reliably.

Questions relevant to sight loss

The legal tests are:

Cannot follow the route of an unfamiliar journey without another person, assistance dog or orientation aid.

Points: 10

Cannot follow the route of a familiar journey without another person, an assistance dog or an orientation aid.

Points: 12

More information to help you answer the questions

This activity applies to you if you cannot work out where to go, follow directions or deal with unexpected changes in your journey

If you need to walk with a guide dog, use an orientation aid or have someone there to guide you, you will satisfy the tests.  An orientation aid is any specialist aid designed to assist disabled people to follow a route safely.

The questions look at familiar and unfamiliar routes.  You score more points and are paid at a higher rate if you have difficulties following a familiar route.

You should only be considered able to journey to an unfamiliar destination if you are able to use public transport. So – if you have difficulties using public transport you will satisfy this test.

Top tips

When answering the questions think about –

Needing assistance and guidance

  • Do you need someone with you for at least some of the journey?
  • Can you follow the route of a familiar journey if there are road works or changes to bus stops?
  • Do you need sighted assistance to cross the road? 
  • Can you cross the road safely?
  • Can you cross the road at a controlled pedestrian crossing (a traffic light) without sighted assistance? If so, can you see the ‘green man’ or do you rely on the tactile rotating cone?
  • If the rotating cone was not working, would you need to ask for sighted assistance?

Do you need aids to go out?

  • What aids do you use?  A cane? A guide dog? A monocular? A talking navigation app on your mobile? Anything else?
  • Do you need help to know when steps begin and end or read road signs or get in and out of buildings?
  • Can you visually identify and avoid hazards such as lamp posts, bollards or A-boards?

Help with navigating

  • Do you get lost?
  • If you do get lost, are you able to navigate back to your chosen route or would you have to ask for sighted assistance? Do you need help to plan a route?
  • Do you need help with navigation?

Taking public transport

  • Can you use public transport?  Do you need help to identify the bus you need, find the right bus stop or platform, use prepaid ticket readers, find an empty seat, recognise where to get off?
  • Do you require public transport information, e.g. timetables, in an alternative format like large print, audio or Braille?
  • Do you need customer assistance to enable you to find your bus stop/stand or train platform?

Other factors that affect your ability to go out

  • Does the weather (e.g. bright sunlight) affect your ability to carry out a journey?
  • Does the time of day (e.g. in dark evenings) affect your ability to travel safely?
  • If you need to complete an unfamiliar journey and wish to do so without sighted assistance, would you require training from a Rehabilitation Officer for Visual Impairment to do this?
  • Are you able to negotiate crowded areas without assistance, e.g. shopping centres or busy railway stations? Do you feel that it would take you longer to complete a journey because of your sight loss?
  • Would planning and following an unfamiliar journey cause you to feel stressed or anxious?

Put your answers in the section called ‘Extra information’.

Download this page

Advice for completing each PIP section

More information on PIP

If you need more help with filling out your PIP form, please get in touch.

Get in touch